Good Morning! Welcome to a whole new world! As an historian, I am enthralled with first person stories of historical events. I think we can all agree that this CoronaVirus outbreak can definitely be considered an historical event; and so I am going to be documenting this time in the country, the world, and, yes, the forest.
Arden’s school will be closing for at least 2 weeks beginning tomorrow, and so today I am preparing the tree house to be a school house for the foreseeable future. Our school district has done a great job with providing school work and plans to make sure students don’t fall too far behind during this time. A challenge for us is that Arden has some learning deficiencies in Math and is on an adjusted learning plan to help in that area. I feel dramatically under-prepared to address this challenge on my own, so I am so appreciative of the lesson plans that have been sent home by her special education teacher. I have set up a loose schedule for our days which include multiple breaks throughout, and I have done some research over the weekend for ways to make our days a bit more bearable. I’ll share some things that have worked and not worked for us as we go along – but I’m actually pretty excited by what we have planned.
Something that has been a recurrent topic of conversation throughout the weekend – we have been unintentionally preparing and are uniquely equipped for this time of separation. When we moved out to the forest about 8 months ago, we began experiencing a time of separation from people and places that were very familiar. It has been a really challenging and sometimes sad time, but ironically, the ways we have found to find joy and experiences in this new place are really going to come in handy in the coming days.
Another topic of conversation has been fear. When I was driving Arden to school today she said that she is afraid. My knee jerk reaction was to downplay that feeling, but, thankfully, I took a beat before responding to that declaration. I told her, it is ok to be afraid or anxious, but we are NOT going to live in that feeling. We are going to follow the directions of doctors and experts and try to keep ourselves as safe and healthy as possible, but we are not going to live in fear. I told her if she had feelings that she wanted to talk through, we would always do that, but we aren’t going to let them overwhelm us. I also told her we are going to be keeping a journal at the end of each of our days and are going to name the things we were enjoying, the things we didn’t enjoy, the things we learned and the things we are looking forward to. I told her that in 20 years, we will want to look back at this time and reflect on how it looked and what we did. That was the end of a very brief, deep conversation, because she then informed me that in 20 years she will be 30 and I will be VERY old. So, there’s that.
For me right now, I am a bit apprehensive about the unknown. I feel prepared for today. I feel nearly prepared for tomorrow. I have a list of things to attempt. We have food and toilet paper. We have animals to care for and enjoy. We have a huge forest all to ourselves to explore (the site itself is closed, per the Governor’s directive). We are healthy. We have our faith. We have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. We have music and games and more books than we could ever read in a lifetime, let alone the next several weeks. We will get through this time.
Two things I want to be documenting over the coming days and weeks – the “News of the Day” and “My Plan for the Day” –
News of the Day – the CDC has set a directive for 8 weeks of reduced public gatherings for under 50 people. Right now that excludes schools and work places, but we really don’t have a good idea of what things will look like a week from now, let alone 8 weeks – so this feels like a very fluid timeline. Children aren’t as impacted by this virus as the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Schools, however, are closed throughout much of the country because there is the risk that, while the kids may not suffer as much from the virus, those little germ monsters can spread it.
The NFL has a new collective bargaining contract – so when football returns, there will be an expanded playoff schedule (maybe the Chargers will have a better shot at the postseason in this new system).
The 3rd Super Tuesday primary election, which includes Illinois, is tomorrow – the last two democratic candidates are Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. The forecast for the week is rainy and cool.
My Plan for Today – organize the pantry, fridge and freezer. Get all school and project supplies together – sharpen pencils!! Take a nap – I’ve been up since 4:30 a.m. because of our dog, Romeo. Make dinner – enchiladas and homemade salsa.
See you tomorrow!